Story By: JON EDWARDS / HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS – CONCORD, NC – Courtesy of a victory (five playoff points) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March and three stage wins (one playoff point each) in 2021, Kyle Larson has amassed eight NASCAR Cup Series playoff points – the most accumulated through seven races.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year also leads the series in laps led (379) and is tied for most wins (one). Larson ranks second in laps run in the top five (845).
CAREER YEAR: Through seven races, Larson has collected three stage wins, five top-10s and has led 379 laps – all career highs for him through seven events to begin a season. He has won an event in the first seven races twice (2017 and 2021). In 2017, he led the Cup Series standings for 11 of 36 races – nearly one-third of the season.
MADDENING MARTINSVILLE: On a track Larson describes as “one of his worst,” the driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet has one top-five finish and two top-10s in 12 starts at Martinsville. His best finish of third on the paperclip layout occurred in spring 2016.
WATERED-DOWN TRACK: Last week, Larson and the No. 5 team participated in a NASCAR test with wet-weather Goodyear tires at the .526-mile Martinsville short track. NASCAR’s focus with the test was finding a way to race on smaller tracks under damp conditions.
SMOKEY MOUNTAIN RAIN: In the rain-delayed March 29 event on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway, Larson started at the rear of the field in the 250-lap race due to an engine change but quickly showcased his dirt experience by maneuvering up to fourth in only 52 laps. Unfortunately, he was collected in an incident in turn two on lap 53 and ultimately finished 29th and five laps down due to damage sustained to his No. 5 Chevy.
LIVE 5 CREW: The No. 5 HendrickCars.com pit crew is ranked third in fastest average time for four-tire stops in 2021, posting a 13.77-second average. The team is comprised of front-tire changer Donnie Tasser, rear-tire changer Calvin Teague, tire carrier R.J. Barnette, fueler Brandon Harder and jackman Brandon Johnson.
CLIFF’S NOTES: No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE crew chief Cliff Daniels was atop the pit box for Jimmie Johnson during the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion’s final full-time season in 2020. In June at Martinsville Speedway, Johnson led 70 laps en route to the Daniels-led team finishing 10th in the 500-lap event. Previously, Daniels was a race engineer for Johnson, who posted nine Martinsville wins in his career.
YOUR CAR NEEDS: This weekend, Larson will again drive the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. From the convenience of home, customers can select the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at HendrickCars.com. The website also makes it easy for customers to find one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 93 dealership locations nationwide.